North Korea declares itself a nuclear state with the right of pre-emptive strike

Today's headlines: China and India withdraw troops on part of disputed Himalayan border; Delhi reduces rice exports; Medicine prices double in Myanmar; Senior Islamic State leader arrested in Turkey; Russian anti-war priest gains followers on YouTube; Kyrgyzstan: ancient Buddhist temple opened to the public.  



Kim Jong-un's regime has passed a law declaring the nation a "nuclear state", claiming their use in a "preventive" manner for national defence: an "irreversible" choice that rules out any possibility of dialogue on denuclearisation. Despite tough international sanctions, Pyongyang conducted six atomic tests between 2006 and 2017.


Two years after a bloody border clash, Delhi and Beijing are starting to disengage their respective troops from the Gogra-Hotsprings area along the western Himalayan border. The two sides have stated that the disengagement is taking place in a coordinated manner. However, thousands of Chinese and Indian soldiers remain on both sides of the disputed border.


Delhi has banned rice exports and imposed a 20% duty on foreign sales of various types of the cereal, of which it is the world's leading exporter. The decision was taken to calm domestic prices after the damage caused to crops by the monsoon, but which will have inflationary effects in the rest of the world.


Since last year's military coup, medicine prices in the former Burma have risen to double in some cases, including those for common diseases such as influenza. Hospitals and clinics are running out of medicines.


Turkish police arrested a senior leader of the self-styled Islamic State (former Isis). According to President Erdogan, Bashar Hattab Ghazal Al Sumaidai (alias Abu Zeyd) was captured during an operation in which Ankara's secret services also participated.


One of the signatories of the open letter of 200 Russian Orthodox priests against the war in Ukraine, circulated in March, protoierej Andrej Kordockin, is gaining followers with his podcast 'What's New'.  He explains how power uses the Church for its own interests, and how Christianity condemns the war anyway. He can be seen on the YouTube channel 'Novaya Gazeta. Evropa'.


The Buddhist temple of Krasnaja Rechka has been unearthed. The ruins were discovered in 2010 on one of the most important passages of the ancient Silk Road. The temple dates back to a period between the 7th and 10th centuries and has now been opened to visitors.